A woman complains her husband’s teenage daughter is too busy taking selfies to help out. Mariella Frostrup suggests ways of trying to befriend her
The dilemma My husband and I have been together for 10 years. During this time I have watched my stepdaughter who lives with us part-time (we have no children of our own – my choice) turn into a self-obsessed, lazy adolescent who is too busy taking selfies to help with chores, like setting the dinner table. I feel like a slave cooking and clearing up after her while she flicks her hair and pouts into a screen. I am getting bitter and resentful. Of course I want us to be a happy family, but I feel so out of control. The one time I did rebuke her, I ended up being told off by my husband that it was not my place to do so. I now avoid being around her when she stays over. I’m afraid I’m beginning to dislike her.
Mariella replies Perfectly possible. The presumption that because you love a partner you’ll unreservedly love their offspring has always seemed a mite unrealistic to me. It’s certainly easier when the child in question is young, unformed and less complicated in their needs and opinions. Once they start morphing into adults and causing havoc with those tasked with raising them, they do briefly become creatures that only a parent can love. You mustn’t take it personally.
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